Steep Fields Messages
Correspondence with Cllr Fekri


Cllr Fekri is one of three Ward councillors who represent our area on Calderdale Council. He was elected in June after promising his support to local residents. "I shall be delighted to lend you my support, both now, and in the future whether elected or not." (28th May)

From Cllr Fekri
Sun, 21 Nov 2004

Unfortunately, I shall be unable to attend the meeting on Wednesday as it clashes with a Hebden Royd Town Council meeting starting at 7:30, at which among other things we shall be discussing the sale of Pitt Street. If I can I shall try to make it later, but please keep me informed about the discussions and outcomes as you know I am convinced that some sort of community project would probably be the best way to proceed, though I am concerned very much about the health and safety issues to do with the wall and the possible damage to the under-dwellings.

From Annie Conboy
Monday, November 22, 2004

I am at a loss to understand why, once again,İthere is a suggestion ofİsome kind of community use for a site which (aside from being quite clearlyİunsuitable for building use) has, in fact, for the past 12 years of my residence in Windsor Rd been used by the local community for recreation.İUntil the arrival of Green Tops Ltd and Messrs. Clynes, Bradby, Kennedy, Bintliffeİand Broome even Calderdale Council Planning and a Planning Inspector were certain that the site provided a well used local amenity.

Leaving the issue of the use of the land to one side I am also stunned that you raise the issue of health & safety of the wall as if it were something extremely urgent and of concern when Green Tops Ltd have had at least a year to deal with any urgent issues in a proper and legal manner but have instead chosen to focus their efforts on breaching, time after time, TPOs and finally ending in a dawn raid that has decimated the site. None of this has been carried out with the slightest of concern about the walls and any alleged remedial works. In fact, I have been trying to get information about the actual state of the walls, the proposals for work and any indemnity for said work as it affects the under AND overdwellings for quite some time. Even a letter published in the HB Times has not been graced with a personal reply, direct to me, by Green Tops, Ltd.

May I also take this opportunity to remind you that if any land movement occurs on the Mill Pond site because of unsupervised, incorrect or illegal work then we will have both under and overdwellings sustaining damage as well as the potential damage to houses on Spring Grove. If the wall is really in such a desparate state then I would like very much to see the insurance documentation for Green Tops Ltd & any company working on the land (including tree fellers) as I understand that Mr Clyndes finds it very difficult to control sub-contractors, especially where they go on to cause land slips, and I, for one, would not like to have to chase anyone through the courts just to get my house rebuilt.

Perhaps, however, Calderdale council would be prepared to indemnify Green Tops Ltd?

I remain, yours climbing the "dangerous" wall,
Annie Conboy

From Graham Barker of Spring Grove
Thursday, November 25, 2004

Dear Cllr Fekri

I've read your email of 21 November to Chris Ratcliffe and am concerned that you may be misinformed about the state of the retaining walls and their significance in the whole dreadful Greentops saga.

I can only speak with certainty about the Spring Grove retaining wall, but I'm sure that my main point - that the retaining walls are absolutely fine if left undisturbed - will also be made by Windsow View residents.

As far as the Spring Grove retaining wall goes, there is no problem with it whatsoever. I've lived here for 15 years - since the Spring Grove houses were built - and have never experienced any problems with the wall, which is more accurately a series of very solid interconnecting walls and buttresses. There has never been the slightest hint of anything wrong with it - nothing has ever fallen off, fallen down, cracked, slipped, subsided or in any other way given cause for anxiety. I've spoken to the only three neighbours who have also lived below the wall since the houses were built, and they too know of no problems over a 15-year period. In short, the wall is fine and will probably stay fine indefinitely if left alone.

I'm well aware that Greentops say the wall is fragile and in urgent need of repair, but this is simply a lie - among many others - to justify their attempts to get access to the land and start preparing it for building in the absence of any planning permission.

I'm also aware that Greentops were asked by one Spring Grove householder to remove an overhanging tree, but this is a complete red herring. The tree had nothing to do with the wall, and there isn't even any of the original retaining wall at that point. (I understand that Greentops have in any case not finished the removal job, which must say something about their interpretation of the word 'urgent'.)

Having said that, it would be an entirely different ball game if Greentops got their way and started knocking things about (cf Mark Clyndes causing a landslip and significant structural damage to at least one house on Heptonstall Road, and simply washing his hands of any responsibility for it). Retaining walls, houses and doubtless whatever is left of the greenery on the Millpond would be at risk if Clyndes and his associates were given free rein.

The real crux of the Millpond affair is not the existing state of walls; it is the potentially dangerous, entirely profit-driven construction practices of an unscrupulous, bullying and mendacious developer with an appalling past record who now wants to build on an entirely inappropriate site.

I trust this has clarified a few points, and has at the very least made you aware of my own feelings. I hope the information will be of use to you in your efforts on our behalf.

From Annie Conboy
Friday, November 26, 2004

Dear mr Fekri,

I am forwarding this email to you again since you have not replied yet.

I have now had an opportunity to put some of my questions to Green Tops Ltd through the medium of their PR exercise on Wednesday evening, a tape recording of which is available if you wish to verify any of what I report. Sadly, it seems, neither the sole director and sole shareholder Richard Broome nor his legal advisor Phil Bradby or his "agent" Mark Clyndes could tell me who insures the company for public liability and land slippage nor the value of that policy (although I understand that such insurance is a legal requirement). This is of special concern since the "engineer" Peter Lodge is now proposing that a roadway be built around or through Windsor View by screwing in concrete piles to support a structure. Apparently this will avoid vibrational force from pile driving but will introduce rotational force into the void spaces underneath the exisiting roadway. I could almost hear the sound of my house collapsing.

There also seemed to be a lack of clarity about the proposed site entrance on the part of the architect, Phil Bintliff, who produced a drawing that appeared to show some kind of development of Windsor Road from it's junction with Foster Lane onto the Mill Pond area, but who had to be pressed really hard by residents to say the site entrance will apparently be from Windsor View. I'm really looking forward to the noise, dust and disturbance right outside my windows in the short period before I have to move out because my house will become unstable. Sad really that it had only recently stopped moving following the development of Spring Grove in the early 1990's.

I understand that Green Tops forsee the need for 4 bedroomed family homes as they are sure to generate a nice, tidy profit butİI am at a complete loss to understand why, at the meeting to confirm a permanent TPO, you apparently said you needed to represent the views of anonymous "residents" who were in favour of the anonymous Green Tops challenging the order. I have never been anonymous yet on every occasion that I have sought assurances that my home will not be damaged by the activities of Green Tops (illegal or otherwise) I have been unable to obtain any. Perhaps it would have been wiser to respond to me by return because the delay certainly makes me think that you really aren't prepared to represent people who could loose everything by the actions of Green Tops (my legal bills are already mounting, my insurance quote for next year -if anyone will insure the property- is something in the region of £1000-£15000, and who wants to buy a house with a roadway for a view or that is subject to planning uncertainty).

I am copying this to the Hebden Bridge Web because the only public forum prepared to listen to and support my position has been the HebWeb. I am happy for him to post this to the site asİI know Green Tops read it. I am also copying this to Jim Metcalf asİI understand the actual planing application will be validated this week or early next week.

Apparently a Planning Officer has already contacted a Trustee of the Steep Fields Association to ask if her safety can be guarenteed when she visits the site with Green Tops & it's representatives. I am deeply disturbed by this. It indicates firstly, that the Planning Officer is not aware that the Steep Fields Association does not represent the residents who are still upset at the violation of the TPO and Mill Pond site.

Secondly, it implies that there will be aggression or violence and this can only have come from suggestions made by Green Tops, Francesca Turner (the one reporter who seems unwilling or unable to report this matter in a fair and balanced way) or, of course,İher own colleagues. I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the agression and violence were perpetrated against the residents of Windsor View/Road and Spring Grove by Green Tops. I should know because I was there on the day, I pleaded with the Police to stop theİ"security" guards attacking peopleİand have the video to prove it.

Finally, if the Planning Officer has a preconcieved view of the residents of this area it does not suggest that the planning process will go forward in a fair and unbiased manner. I will, of course, be lodging my objections as soon as I recieve the planning notice and seeking some form of indemnity from Calderdale MBC concerning the potential damage to my property (since Green Tops quite clearly doesn't carry it's own insurance). However, if the Planning Officer is already reacting in the way mentioned above I am extremely concerned that my objections will end up in a "to do" pile or dismissed as of no merit.

What I would like to hear is that you will now start representing the realities of this current situation and press ahead vigorously with objections on my behalf.

I await your reply

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